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HER Number:MDV925
Name:Youlston, Shirwell


Youlston mansion house was built in the early 18th century on the site of an earlier house. The medieval hall & kitchen block were enclosed in the 17th century & retain a medieval roof


Grid Reference:SS 586 374
Map Sheet:SS53NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishShirwell
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSHIRWELL

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53NE/4
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANSION HOUSE (XI to XXI - 1001 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Risden, T., 1811, Choreographical Description of Devon, 1580-1640, 330 (Monograph). SDV660.

In the reign of Henry I Rocelane de Beaumont held Yeolston and it is now held by Sir Ralph Sydenham.

Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica, 440 (Monograph). SDV323771.

Ordnance Survey, 1905, 9SE (Cartographic). SDV335634.

Reichel, O. J., 1928 - 1938, The Hundred of Shirwell in Early Times, 478, 494 (Article in Monograph). SDV59335.

Youlston, alias Youldon, was included in the manor of Shirwell, (Aiscirewilla), in Domesday. This was held by Robert de Bello Monte of Baldwin the sheriff. Before the conquest it was held by Brismar.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 172 (Monograph). SDV336196.

The present house appears Palladian - early Georgian and contains work about 1750. Above the centre of the room of the main range an open timber roof is said to survive as evidence of the earlier date of erection of the house. Another room contains late Tudor panelling.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953, SS53NE2 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV338545.

Owner said that the present house built about 1711-1713 on the site of a former house of 16th century, none of the fabric of which was incorporated in the present house. Another and older house was said to exist in the "Old Park", but no trace of it has ever been found.

English Heritage, 1965, Shirwell (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV338549.

Youlston Park a mansion house. Random coursed ashlar and rubblestone with slate roofs and brick chimney stacks, except for rubble stone stack at rear of the hall. The kitchen block is rendered. 2 storeys. Courtyard plan with 7-bay extension to west. The south front consists of two 2-bay gabled projections with blind lunettes and timber sashes 6 panes per sash with glazing bars to each side of the encased hall which has 3 dummy windows above 3 sashes with glazing bars. The entrance porch supported on 4 classical stone columns, covered in ivy, is in the western gabled projection. To the left, the recessed west wing of ashlar above rubble stone, has 7 bays of sashes with glazing bars 9-panes per sash and flat stone arches. Gable end to left and half-hipped roof to right. The east front has a bay of sashes to each side of a lateral stack then a venetian window above door with a heavy stone lintel and pillars, then 5 bays of sashes with glazing bars 6 panes per sash. To the rear is the domestic wing with octagonal open bell turret and weathervane with octagonal clock dial below. Interiors: Ground floor room at end of west wing has magnificant late 17th century plaster ceiling of 6 shaped panels around oval centrepiece with dense foliage in high relief with moulded cornice. 2 diagonally opposite corner porch contain shields, the other 2 have herons and eels, all Chichester family emblems. Ornately carved fireplace with grotesque heads above foliage to each side of overmantel. The Chinese room in the west wing has rare Chinese wallpaper (circa 1760) on all four walls, and ornamental plaster ceiling of draped foliage with pendants around rectangular panel with cherubs heads in the angles. 4 thin outer panels, the side ones containing central shields with heron heads. The main staircase has replaced 20th century treads but richly carved strings and swags on the newel-posts. 17th century panelling to entrance hall with coats of arms painted in top panels. Ornately carved fireplace and plaster ceiling of curvilinear geometrical pattern. The coved ceiling of the original open hall to the east is a 20th century replacement; only parts of the enriched moulded plaster cornice, circular niches with festoons at each end, and an inserted plastered panel depicting mythological scenes in the north wall survive. Threequarter height panelling swept up to accommodate classical fireplace with fluted pilasters and voluted supports to mantel. Concealed above the coved ceiling is a fine medieval roof consisting of 5 trusses of base crucks with arch-braced collars supporting crown posts. A curved windbrace between each truss is jointed into soffit of a single set of through purlins. Room at east end has 9 panelled trabeated ceiling with plaster decorations and doorway with Corinthian capitals. Formerly seat of Chichesters. The interiors are very fine. Rooflights have been introduced in places. Other details: LBS No 98232.

Copeland, G. W., 1966, Proceedings at the 104th Annual Meeting, 35-6 (Article in Serial). SDV266064.

Youlston Park. The principal features of this house are a magnificent main staircase with richly carved strings and swags on the newel-post, an unusual plaster ceiling, and a suite of large rooms in the eighteenth century wing to the west which have richly and elaborately moulded plaster ceilings. The entrance hall has panelled walls, a plaster ceiling of a curvilinear geometrical pattern, and coats-of-arms painted on the frieze. Only parts of the enriched moulded plaster cornice remain. The south front of the house still shows a sixteenth century outline, but the main entrance is through a pillared classis porch.

Department of Environment, 1984, Shirwell, 29 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV338546.

Youlston Park. Mansion house, detached medieval hall and kitchen blocks encased in late 17th century remodelling when the west wing was added. Further extensive alterations in the mid 18th century. Two storeys. Courtyard plan with 7-bay extension to west. Timber sashes. See doe list for full details.

Cherry, B., 1988, The Devon Country House in the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries, 5-7 (Article in Serial). SDV129144.

Courtyard house with projecting wing (also seen at Portledge) This plan is exceptional. Other details: Fig 2.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 925 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Crown post roof with massive base crucks is prehaps circa 1400. Five smoke blackened trusses remain, with traces of a louvre in the centre bay.

Gray, T., 1995, The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources, 244 (Monograph). SDV671.

A seat of the Chichester family from the early 16th century until 1920. It was enlarged by successive members of the family. The detached medieval hall & kitchen blocks were enclosed in the late 17th century.

Devon Gardens Trust, 2003, Youlston Park (Reg/Local list of Historic Parks and Gdns). SDV338547.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV129144Article in Serial: Cherry, B.. 1988. The Devon Country House in the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 46. A5 Paperback. 5-7.
SDV266064Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1966. Proceedings at the 104th Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 98. A5 Paperback. 35-6.
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown. 440.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 925.
SDV335634Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1905. 9SE. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 172.
SDV338545Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953. SS53NE2. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV338546List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1984. Shirwell. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 29.
SDV338547Reg/Local list of Historic Parks and Gdns: Devon Gardens Trust. 2003. Youlston Park. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. Unknown.
SDV338549List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 1965. Shirwell. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV59335Article in Monograph: Reichel, O. J.. 1928 - 1938. The Hundred of Shirwell in Early Times. The Hundreds of Devon. A5 Hardback. 478, 494.
SDV660Monograph: Risden, T.. 1811. Choreographical Description of Devon, 1580-1640. Choreographical Description of Devon, 1580-1640. Unknown. 330.
SDV671Monograph: Gray, T.. 1995. The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources. The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources. Paperback Volume. 244.

Associated Monuments

MDV32034Related to: Game Larder at Youlston (Building)
MDV32401Related to: Kennels to the west of Youlston (Monument)
MDV65352Related to: Kitchen Garden at Youlston Park (Park/Garden)
MDV32035Related to: Lodges to the east of Youlston (Building)
MDV32400Related to: Railway Carriage to the southeast of Youlston Park Entrance (Building)
MDV32033Related to: Stables at Youlston (Building)
MDV12482Related to: Youlston Deer Park (Park/Garden)
MDV32499Related to: Youlston Park, Shirwell (Park/Garden)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4235 - The Stables, Youlston Park

Date Last Edited:May 30 2007 9:03AM